Friday, February 13, 2009

Skybox Timeline

With this week's American Journal reporting Skybox Bar and Grill will not be re-opening due to zoning non-compliance (sorry, no link), I've patched together a snarky synopsis of how the City of Westbrook rewarded the investments and improvements made by one couple (Tom and Ellen Dore) by driving them out of business, while subsequently forcing another couple (Allen and Lynn Moore) to invest their hard-earned capital into lawyer fees, instead of into their business and job creation:

March 2008
Westbrook City Council rejects the Dores' application for a liquor license for dubious reasons.

August 2008
City Council rejects the Moores' application for a liquor license for equally dubious reasons.

October 2008
Maine Liquor Licensing and Compliance Division and the Attorney General's office holds a public hearing concerning the Moores' application for a liquor license at the Westbrook Public Safety Building. Community clamoring for the bar's closing is so great,
no one from the public bothers to attend.

Janaury 2009
Lt. David Bowler of the Maine Department of Public Safety finds the City's denial of the Moores' application for a liquor license to be "without justifiable cause." However, before the Moores can secure a liquor license, it is determined they must physically separate the tavern from a catering business run in an adjacent space by the Dores.

January 2009
The Dores renovate the building to satisfy state regulations, only to have Westbrook Code Enforcement Officer Rick Gouzie determine the renovations make the business non-compliant with neighborhood zoning rules. The Moores subsequently appeal Gouzie's judgment.

March 11, 2009
The saga continues, as the Skybox owners' zoning appeal goes before the Westbrook Zoning Board.

Question: Why do I suspect that if you asked the Dores or the Moores what starts in Westbrook, they would be justified for spitting invectives, instead of singing the City's praises?

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: A Couple Thoughts on the Re-Opening of Skybox
Related: No Bar For You
Related: (Deep) Thoughts on the Skybox Closure
Related: Is Skybox a Victim of a Brown Street Bias?

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